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healthy skepticism?

perhaps it's an innate patriotism, but i really do love debating with neighbours south of the border about the state of health care in canada. it's quite amazing the myths that get propagated.

that said, there are a lot of issues that need to be resolved within canada, and it's sad that admitting to those is often seen as a criticism of the canadian system in itself.

i'm happy to see that someone has put together a listing of facts that actually acknowledges the realities of the situation very well.

a few facts from my own history:

1. i had no trouble finding a g.p. in toronto, although it's the largest city in canada. no one i know has had a problem with this.

2. montreal has a shortage of g.p.'s and, while it's true i didn't have one in my time there, this was not because i couldn't find one. the preponderance of clinics available to the average montrealer means that there is always somewhere you can go for treatment.

3. i did once spend 22 hours in the emergency ward of the montreal general hospital, which was, i'm given to understand, some kind of record at the time. one of the chief reasons for the delay in my treatment was that the one doctor and two nurses on duty were busy treating three american tourists who had been fairly seriously injured in a fight. i do think they did the right thing...

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mental health mondays :: the war at home

what's worse than being sent off to war when you're barely old enough to order a drink in a bar? making it home only to get poisoned by the government that sent you there. 
although it's certainly not a secret, i don't find that the opiate/ opioid crisis happening in america gets nearly the attention it deserves. at least, what attention it gets just seems to repeat "thousands of people are dying, it's terrible", without ever explaining how things got to the state they are now. there's mention of heroin becoming cheaper, of shameful over-prescriptions and dumping of pills in poorly regulated states/ counties, etc. but too much of the media coverage seems content to say that there's a problem and leave it at that.

one of the things that might be hindering debate is that a very big problem likely has a lot of different causes, which means that it's important to break it down into smaller problems to deal with it. and one of those problems conne…

jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

digging for [audio] treasure

my computer tells me that i need to cut down the amount of music stored on my overstuffed hard drive. my ears tell me that that would deprive me of some wonderful listening experiences. 
halifax, nova scotia was not the easiest place to find out about music with limited appeal. it was a very music-centred city, to be sure, but, being smaller, things like noise, industrial, and experimental music struggled to gain a foothold, even as the alternative rock scene exploded in the early nineties. i was lucky enough to have some friends who were happy to share music that they loved, but i knew that there were lots of things that i was missing out on.

with the dawn of the internet, and various types of music sharing, i found myself able to discover bands that i'd heard about, but never managed to track down, from the days of underground cassette culture. and, to my surprise and elation, many of them do very much live up to what i'd imagined from reading descriptions of them in catalo…